tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC October 29, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
right now on "andrea mitchell reports" sandy strikes the east coast. hours ahead of making landfall, this huge storm surge already is hitting flood zones with warnings of 90-mile winds ahead. >> this is a massive storm. hurricane-force winds extend some 175 miles in every direction of this center. >> for those people who have lost power already or will lose power between now and when i speak to you next, i'm going to have to ask for your patience. >> just eight days until the election and sandy is the october surprise. president canceled everything, flew back from florida today to take charge in the situation room.
>> because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow moving process through a wide swath of the country and millions of people are going to be affected. so the most important message that i have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. >> that left bill clinton flying solo in florida. >> i was supposed to be the warmup man for president obama today. but that storm on the east coast had other ideas. >> governor romney canceled his schedule tonight but today he was still campaigning out of the storm's path in ohio. >> on the eastern coast of our nation, a lot of people are enduring some very difficult times. and our hearts and our prayers go to them. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. and we are in a special edition
today, hurricane sandy growing stronger, reaching what could be historic strength as it heads directly for the northeast. we've got all of our reporters standing by throughout the danger zones with full reports but first, our meteorologist bill karins, live in lower manhattan, bracing for the storm surge tonight. bill, you're down there near battery city and obviously you're looking at tide coming in i guess around 8:30 tonight, is the really first test of just how bad this is going to be? >> yeah. this is slightly scary since this is what it looks like at the low tide, you know. we hit that this morning the high tide, about six hours go to the low tied, get up there. it's already gone down about four or five feet since at peak high tide and from here it's going to go up. the tidal predictions are to the exact science. it's almost like river forecasts. the high drolgss make them with the best knowledge they have.
it's not as good as your forecast we give you days in advan advance. it's not the exact science. fluid situation with the storm and a lot of factors and so right now, we're thinking it's going to be about two to three feet higher than what we saw when it was down here on the edge splashing over. that means if i was standing right here at about 8:30 this evening, the water could potentially be somewhere between here to here with wave action over the top of that. this is a flat area in lower manhattan. not a lot of elevation change. about three blocks in inland they have the subways all sandbagged. they are expecting the worst and the possibility of all the water heading underground to the subway system. normally it's heavy rains. they do get flooded. this is saltwater. the electrical switches, all the problems they could have with that. think of the nightmare they would have trying to replace that stuff if it got damaged. we still have a north wind. as the storm approaches to our south in southern portions of the state of new jersey, our winds will whip around to the
east. that's when new york city will get its highest gusts. as we go towards the evening hours and start to crank these 30 to 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts we have the maps to show you those, we're going to crank those back up to 60, 70, possibly 80-mile-per-hour gusts that's when the extreme damage will go. if you haven't lost power yet, you want to take that warm shower do so now because tonight into tomorrow we're thinking millions won't have that power thp this storm as it main stains its strength it's amazing and something to be studied for months and years to come, 90-mile-per-hour hurricane, two or three days before november, is going to head into the jersey shore, andrea, just incredible stuff. the radar, the rain, the rain isn't the story in new england it's the winds and storm surge later. the rain and storm surge and everything. the bull's eye on the jersey shore. if you're in that target zone down there, get out of the way while you can because you're at low tide and that water will come up higher than it did this
morning. back to you, andrea. >> and bill, let me just ask you why this storm, it's so big, so unusual, it's the combination of storms, give us just a fix on the big picture, why this enormous system is so dangerous and so unusual? >> well, the timing of the year makes it unusual and the structure of the storm. i mean usually you get a hurricane in the center of the storm has all the highest winds. that's where the eyewall is, where you'll see our weather channel friends try to be in the middle of the storm where the most destruction is. we've already had almost 60-mile-per-hour gusts in boston. this storm is closer to atlantic city. we had a high tide flooding down yesterday in areas of florida when the storm was off the outer banks. i mean we're talking about a storm that's the size of the largest nor'easter winter storms we get with tropical characteristics and moisture and rain. it's a strange combination all the elements came together and may never happen in my lifetime again and we're all fearful and
had hope we all get through the best later on tonight. >> absolutely. thank you, thanks, bill karins. now let's go right to the jersey shore and nbc's ron allen point pleasant, new jersey. you must already be seeing the waves, there you are, tell me how it is changing and what you've seen since you've been there early this morning. >> well, andrea, the winds have picked up considerably. we were up here three or four hours ago and i wasn't having difficulty standing in position and i am now. i don't know what the gusts are, probably 50, 60 miles per hour as are reports up and down the coast. this sand dune is about 12 feet tall, it's about 30 yards wide, and it is the protection from point pleasant beach to the ocean. we've been watching the ocean for the last few days down here, and the seas are eight to ten feet, perhaps higher. you can see the storm sense has been completely blown out by the high tide that came earlier and there have been waves blasting up on this edge of the dune coming in this direction.
also in the town when you go inland, be the town is surrounded by lakes and inlets from the sea. there's a lot of flooding that's happening already in the streets of the city which has been evacuated by the way. we saw police and emergency crews going through, trying to make sure everyone is out and we hear that there have been some reports of some people calling for help who for whatever reason are still in their homes and only a few -- we only heard a few of those reports. the concern here is that the ocean could top this dune and the lakes in that direction and completely swamp this town. the expectation was that the water could go in as much as five or six blocks from this area which is a quarter mile or so, so it's a very dangerous situation. that's why they have evacuated this place and they're not letting people in once you go out. again, as we drove around, the place is pretty much abandoned. the other thing we saw were some power lines starting to arc and
we could see the sparks as they were swaying in the breeze. the wind i should say, because the wind is whipping right through here. as you dan see there's very little protection from the ocean. all along this area, i should say along the jersey shore from cape may all the way down, 175 miles, all of that area, much of that area has been evacuated. people going inland. but again, a lot of concern about inland flooding. when irene hit this area a lot of people evacuated. the coast wasn't hit that hard. the bigger problem was inland. that's why [ inaudible ] behind this time but for the most -- staying behind last time but for now people are pushing out because of the danger, the high winds are obvious. we're in a very protected position, by the way, and we're going to move back if things get worse. but again, we're charting it by the hour every hour and for now, things here are under control, but again it's getting to be a
very dangerous situation down here. andrea? >> i was going to ask you that exact question, ron. so you and your crew, you know what to do. but the people who are -- and this is repeating the president's appeal, what chris christie has said, mike bloomberg, the appeal to people who are refusing to evacuate because they are putting first responders in danger and as i'm looking at the pictures of you, ron, the shape of that beach along the jersey shore is never going to be the same. this is going to have to be restored in some way because the enormous erosion already is being washed away in front of our eyes. >> andrea, this ocean, the shore here, extends out about 100 yards. it did yesterday at least. it doesn't anymore. how much of that is going to be destroyed and washed away, is unclear. and yes, yesterday there were a lot of people out here who were taking pictures, trying to get one last look because it is an incredible sight to see. i'm not encouraging anybody to
come down here. the police were really trying to tell people, please get away. because again, that is one of the worst case scenarios if people stay behind, the first responders have to come in here, risk their own lives to get them out. so again, driving through town, at least here, as far as we could go, because much of this part of the area is cut off because it's surrounded by water, also in new jersey, when you get to the southern tip of new jersey, from atlantic city on down, the garden state parkway, the thoroughfare, has been closed from atlantic city on down to cape may because again, authorities just don't want people out. they want them to stay at home. we know atlantic city was evacuated, the casinos shut down, everything down there is evacuated. so again, a very dangerous situation. the best advice yet, stay at home. we're doing this to try to explain what's happening, what the conditions are like.
but again, we're in a very protected place. i can assure you of that. we're not taking unnecessary risks. andrea? >> please stay safe. thank you so much. ron allen for your reporting. and tom tron is in rehoboth beach, delaware. you've got a quieter situation but delaware is still at risk all of the coastal areas, those beaches are really threatened now. >> we just checked in with the governor's office, andrea. they are reporting right now that around 2,000 residents in the state of delaware are without power. we imagine that's going to get higher as we get through the evening. take a look at what's happening here in rehoboth beach. this is low tide. earlier this morning this beach was getting pummeled by high tide waves and if you come up here with me, be take a look at what it's been -- what it's done to this fence here, basically pushed this -- [ inaudible ] mentioning during the show here, is going to be around 8:00 and that's going to coincide with some of the strongest effects of
this storm. so we imagine what you're seeing behind me is going to start right up to the boardwalk and start lapping up to the hotels. 50,000 residents in the delaware coastal delaware area have been evacuated. drive around town a little while ago, we did see a few people lingering around. they said, i'll dub them the golden girls, have been through a lot of storms, especially during the 1960s, that this doesn't really scare them. but obviously that's not what local officials want to hear. certainly you heard the president talk earlier as well. they do not want people to stay around here because as you can imagine, when power goes out, this is not going to be the place you want to stay. there are no grocery stores. there are no gas stations right now. if you are stuck here, you are literally stuck here. for now, as you probably know, andrea, this is usually a bustling time because during the halloween time there's a huge sea witch festival. this place was packed just a couple days ago, 70,000 people. but now it's virtually a ghost town. no one in sight.
so far we still have power, but the worst is yet to come, andrea. >> tom tron in delaware. joining me by phone is the delaware governor jack markell chairman of the governor's association and in response to delaware's response to the storm. what is your concern about people who are not leaving when told? >> well our biggest concern at the moment is the likely loss of power. my guess is people will be out of power for a week to ten days or longer. significant flooding down at the beach, you heard your reporter from the rehoboth beach area and seeing significant flooding there. we did a mandatory evacuation. people were to get out by last night. if they're still there, you know, we -- they could be cut off and can't guarantee first responders will get to them. >> i know we checked with bo
biden's office because he was called up in the national guard, he was a major in the national guard, be had active duty in iraq left the campaign in anticipation of this on saturday as a main surrogate, also campaigning with his dad and now he has been called up. how many have been activated in the national guard? >> 300 people so far. we may end up doubling that. we've got a terrific national guard including our attorney general who's just a great public servant here in delaware. they're doing great work. some of them are providing medical support in some of the shelters. we've opened up a number of shelters across the state. have hundreds of people in them now. but they're providing evacuation support as well. >> now, number of routes have been closed. one, of course, a main closure, route 1 between bethanie beach and dewey beach. what about exit strategies for those who have to leave? >> there are as you say, that one, we knew would be closing. actually closing it yesterday morning. and so there are evacuation
routes, route 113 and for those who are north of dewey beach can go up route 1. there are ways out. but we told people a couple days ago now that if you're in the evacuation area you need to get out. >> governor jack markell, good luck to you. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> our daily fix could sandy affect the outcome of this election? for up to the date information on hurricane sandy, be how it will impact your area, check out weather.com. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" special coverage right here on msnbc. begin. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this?
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as the storm strengthens throughout the day. >> this track is the wrong course for america, that this is a turning point for america, and as a result, those people in this country who want real change from day one are going to vote for paul ryan and myself. and i need [ inaudible ]. >> he's going to cut everybody's taxes 20%, and how are you going to pay for that? we just were told the debt was the biggest problem. if you have a hole to fill, would you dig it deeper before you filled it? >> president clinton and mitt romney still out on the trail today firing up crowds across the battleground states trying to keep their supporters focused on the upcoming election while national attention turns to sandy and the steady progress and joining me for our daily fix is chris cizilla and managing editor of post politics.com. and chris, while this is a complete alteration of the campaign, you've got mitt romney canceling -- one more event in iowa and then cancels tonight in
wisconsin, cancels all of tomorrow as does paul ryan. and they have to adjust to, you know, what is the right tone, how do you handle campaigning in the midst of this national disaster? and the president dropping everything and heading back. >> it's -- it's an amazing thing, andrea. obviously there are broader concerns here than the political ones. on the political front it's amazing. you have two plus years basically, four years in some cases, of campaigning for this. we are down to it is eight days from today the election. you have a storm that is going all the way up the eastern seaboard, and is forcing the two candidates to absolutely readjust everything. i've heard people say and i think it's probably rice, the race is sort of frozen right now. frozen literally in the that candidates aren't doing anything. bill clinton in florida, president obama was supposed to do that event and flew back here and we heard from him. mitt romney will stay off the campaign trail until sort of this thing passes through and we get the assessment of the damage and that's the other thing.
let's say wednesday they start resuming their schedule. there's the possibility they'll be significant power outages and damage all the way through this week maybe into next week. when we say into next week tuesday is the election. >> break this down. >> yeah. >> the president just spoke from the briefing room. this was the president who was talking about sandy and was asked about the election and said right now he's got to focus on, you have power outages and as he pointed out this is a big storm. the power outages could last, battleground states, north carolina, virginia, and certainly new hampshire, but now is pennsylvania in play? one of the super pacs, the karl rove super pac putting $2 million into pennsylvania. i was on a conference call with jim mess siena and jafds axelrod saying that's a bluff, that pennsylvania is not a problem. if people are worried about coming back from power outages which could last a week or more as they did after irene, and if
people cannot get to the polls? this whole thing could be thrown up in the air. >> what's hard for me if you're trying to analyze this, well the president gets to look more presidential and that's good and mitt romney is sidelined or the president's voters won't be able to turn out. what's difficult this is a variable into an evasion that really has not changed basically two plus two has equalled four almost this entire campaign. it's been close. mitt romney has been behind slightly but it's been close. throw this other variable into this problem that we thought we had pretty much close to knowing the answer, close one or way the other, who knows. i think we focus on today, tomorrow but wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday into the weekend, can they resume campaigning? even if they do, to your point, andrea, does it impact some of these places, pennsylvania, new hampshire? mitt romney's head quarters are in boston. lose power there for multiple days. we don't know. that's the hard thing about these. we're not meteorologists, don't know what the impact will be.
the candidates and their campaigns aren't either. playing wait and see, safe better than sorry in terms of hold back, wait to see what happens and then move forward. >> let me correct something. i was told it is restore our future, putting the $2 million ad. >> the pro mitt romney super pac. >> the latest "washington post"/abc tracking poll, 49/48, mitt romney by a point which is -- >> we've had for the last three days of tracks we've had it 49 romney, 48 obama. it's a statistical tie. we haven't had it any more of a three-point difference. >> we checked with the department of labor, and contrary to some reports including one of the major newspapers on-line there is no problem with the jobs report, the jobs report for good or bad is coming on friday. >> which -- >> they've collected the data. >> which we all thought was going to be the big thing before the election, was this last jobs report. now it's a secondary story by far compared to the storm. >> chris cizilla, thank you so much for everything. >> sure. >> and hurricane sandy is
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hurricane sandy forcing the campaigns to reshuffle their final stretch strategies. game plans with both campaigns an chuck toz coming next. if it's safe to do so please share your photos any you've taken with sandy using #msnbcpicks. we might use them on air and on-line. for the latest keep watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] do you have the legal protection you need? at legalzoom, we've created a better place to turn for your legal matters. maybe you want to incorporate a business you'd like to start. or protect your family with a will or living trust. legalzoom makes it easy with step-by-step help
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and he called me and said i got to go back. it's going to be worse than we thought and it's going to hit south of where we thought, so keep your fingers crossed for your fellow americans today. >> we face these kind of challenges before and as we have, you see how americans come together. this looks like another time when we need to come together all across the country. >> hurricane sandy's arrival has up-ended the best laid plans of both campaigns with its final eight days before the election. how will the storm impact the get out the vote strategy for the battleground states? joining me chuck todd, chief white house correspondent, political director, host of "the daily run down." you saw the president there, not a candidate, the commander in chief, the president, that is a role he has to take. will there be charges from any direction that he's doing this for affect? this what is any president would have to do. >> by the way, if he wasn't doing it, there would be
charges. i mean that part of it is absurd. this is, you know, are there charges when a governor calls a press conference, when a mayor calls a press conference in the middle of a storm this is the role now when you're in the midst of a communication where you're trying to communicate to people, get off the coast. period. so i think on that front, i don't think you're going to see any serious people level those charges. let's get the reality here, andrea. it's eight days to the election, but we have already eliminated two days from the campaign. we have six campaign days left, maximum, and that assumes that wednesday is just hunky dory and that when everybody wakes up wednesday morning power is magically back on on the east coast and that's unlikely. i think we have seen parts of the campaign effectively -- the sort of large narrative back and forth between the president and mitt romney, the tone of that is going to i think be affected, at least i would say through the end of the week. >> chuck, we've seen in the past
situations where power is not restored in our own region here for days, more than a week, for ten days. what happens if we get to election day and they don't have power? which you need for many of these election booths, for the voting booths, people to get to the polls. is there any precedent for doing something such as postponing a national election? >> well, look, elections are run by state and local officials. the federal government does not run the elections as it is. look, there is some precedence to this. during 9/11, on 9/11, was the new york city mayoral race and they delayed everything. you know, it would have to be up to a local authority to do that but that local authority i think you're going to be getting into provisional ballot issues. i think -- i think that that's the more likely scenario you don't postpone the day but maybe you expand the types of ballots, maybe you're more lenient on
checking people in, but forcing provisional votes so it's going to take longer to verify the voters and all those things. i think that that's the most likely scenario that you would have some localities that would have to move, change positions, maybe even delay, but that would seem the least likely option but to come up with some way to deal with what you said if you have an electronic voting machine and no power how do you deal with that? >> we heard again from the campaigns, jim mess siena and david axelrod, e-mails from the romney campaign, both sides accusing each other of bluffing by -- >> on the state of the race. >> on the state of the race, the ground game, who has the best get out the vote. $2 million by restore our future the super pac for romney into pennsylvania. this is more than -- this is more than a bluff. this sounds real, $2 million is real money. >> here's what's going on here, andrea, i think we have very real evidence of this. is in the nine battleground
states, the ability of either candidate to move the numbers has been nearly impossible when either one of them has had some momentum, it's maybe moved their number a point or two, but -- and moved the other guy's number down a point or two but not much. we are seeing almost all of the battlegrounds at some form of a standstill, maybe moving half a point here, half a point there. where you see evidence of romney's uptick in the national polls playing out in the states or in the nonbattleground states, the ones that have been left off, pennsylvania is a classic example, minnesota, but i'm going to throw in california as well, it's all of these places where romney is now polling better, particularly in better shape than john mccain was. there has been no engagement so there's -- there has been a better opportunity for him there, andrea. i think that's what you're seeing here a little bit and i think the obama campaign realizes they have to respond. >> and what about the des moines
register editorial, we say editorials don't make a lot of difference but iowa is where barack obama got his first lift by beating the field in those caucuses back in '08. it's got to sting some. >> absolutely. it's a symbolic sting. there was that bizarre kerfuffle between the president, the white house, the campaign and the editorial board. how much did that contribute to this? i think iowa is more important to romney's math than even ohio. that's why they're trying to grab on to this to show that it's evidence of momentum. >> chuck todd, thanks so much from the white house today. and joining me to discuss the final week of campaigning, less than a week and the political impacts of sandy from the democrats' perspective is stephanie cutter. thanks for joining us. what do you do about the hurricane, lost time, lost ability to circle back to your likely or possible voters?
it does really affect your ground game? >> well, andrea, the president addressed that today, that what we're all thinking about right now is how we keep people safe from this storm and ensure they are taking the precautions they need to take and there is an effective response. that's our first priority. we've taken precautions on the ground with our volunteers and campaign workers. so that's what we're thinking about today. >> which side do you think gets more affected if this is a prolonged power outage the key states? is it the elderly citizen who might be more likely to vote for mitt romney, is it the student who might be more likely to vote for barack obama? who is more affected by the difficulty of public transit and not having access to get to the polls next tuesday? >> you know, andrea, we're really not engaging in those hypotheticals? we are really focused on the storm right now and the immediate aftermath to make sure
people are safe. i will tell you that because of the investments this campaign has made over the last two years, our people have really turned out already in the early vote. we saw tremendous reaction in florida over the past two days. we've now surpassed for the first time in history, republicans in those early ballots. because our people are enthusiastic and they've been turning out. but in terms of what the storm means for turnout in the aftermath, we're not engaging in hypotheticals. we want to make sure everybody stays safe. >> what about the des moines register editorial endorsement of mitt romney? >> yes. what about it? >> are you surprised? how important is that in a state like iowa it's an important paper. >> it is a very important paper. we were surprised about really not the endorsement but what the endorsement said. as i said yesterday it wasn't based in reality, based on mitt romney's policies or the positions that he's taken. there is a difference between where the president wants to take this country and what mitt romney is promising.
even in their tax policy, the president wants to protect the middle class, mitt romney has a $5 trillion tax cut geared toward the wealthy he won't say how to pay for it. the only way to pay for it according to every expert in the country is increasing the deficit or raising taxes on the middle class and that's a real difference, and a real difference to the people of iowa who on average middle class families pay $3600 less in taxes as a result of the president's policies. but as we said earlier today, we didn't get their endorsement in the democratic primary in 2008, but we managed to soldier on. we'll soldier on here. we're confident we are going to win iowa. >> what about pennsylvania because democrats have been saying that it's solid, that they don't pay attention to polls showing that it's more in play, but now $2 million from restore our future from the super pac for mitt romney being invested into pennsylvania. is pennsylvania in play? >> i think that the romney campaign is trying to put it in play. they can't figure out how to get to 270 electoral votes they're losing in ohio.
we are tied in florida and our ground game is turning out. they can't win without one of the states. they're trying to expand the map. they're going to be unsuccessful in doing that. we have a significant lead in pennsylvania and maintain that significant lead. same with minnesota. we're not going to let them go into states and respond to them. we're going to be as aggressive as possible to ensure we're protecting our playing ground, our playing field and that includes pennsylvania and minnesota. but we are absolutely confident that a week from tomorrow, that pennsylvania and minnesota will be in our column. >> are you going to spend money in pennsylvania. >> it's possible. we're not going to let them go unanswered. we have a significant ground game in pennsylvania, almost double the number of offices they have and everybody understands what our voting registration advantage is. but we're not going to let these charges go unanswered. so we're taking a look at everything. we went up in minnesota. mostly because that bleeds over into wisconsin which is an important battleground for us. and, you know, we are going to
respond aggressively and effectively to everything they do. >> stephanie cutter, thank you very much. joining us from chicago today and now for the latest from the romney campaign, on how it is dealing with the storm, utah congressman jason chafe fits a member of the house committee on oversight and government reform and key romney supporter. what about mitt romney and the effects of this storm and the fact he has to cut back on campaigning? he's canceled events tonight and tomorrow? >> well, look, first and foremost you have to make sure people are out of harm's way, giving au the support to the first respond responders. mitt romney is doing the right thing, suspending the campaigning he is doing personally. god bless the men and women in the path. a lot of families who will have maybe a leader in their family leave to help others and you just -- your heart and prayer goes out to them. just hope everybody is safe. i thought the president struck the right tone. i think he's doing the right thing and i think he shared the right message and it's a message that mitt romney can curs with.
>> -- concurs with. >> when you look at the advertising put up a lot of criticism of a new or fairly recent romney ad about auto jobs going to china. it's been discredited by every fact checker. is that an ad that should come down? >> it's 100% correct and accurate. the romney campaign stands behind it. the reality is, what fiat is doing and the way they're going to outsource and put jeep and others overseas, it's accurate. i think mitt romney has taken the right stance on a structured bankruptcy. it's ultimately what president obama ended up doing, so there's been a lot of battle about that. i know particularly in ohio and what not, but the ad is 100% accurate. >> according to the detroit news, which endorsed mitt romney your candidate, chrysler previously built jeeps in china and the move is not unusual. the ford motor company builds ford vehicles in china for chinese buyers. general motors bukes in china for local consumers.
>> well, but as you point out they previously did it. what the -- what's happening now is, fiat's moved to push jeep more into china. so the ad speaks for itself. the romney campaign stands by it and believes it's accurate. >> let me ask you about one of your big concerns which is libya. you're on the oversight committee and have been working with darrell issa, of course. what about the latest charges that you have made that the defense secretary did not pursue or follow up and respond to requests for help? leon panetta has said there was no way to ascertain safely who to send in and what the situation was on the ground because the video that they were monitoring did not give them a clear picture of what was happening. >> well, that's a different answer than what the president said when the president has repeatedly said they did everything they could possibly do to protect the people in benghazi, i beg to differ. i visited with general hamm the four-star jen until charge, i went to lib why, and when i
asked very succinctly and directly did he have the resources the capability to actually go into libya and try to help save those people in benghazi, his response was, that he was not asked to do so. so, on the one hand the president's saying that they did everything they could possibly do on the other hand you hear the defense secretary say it maybe wasn't safe enough. again, that's just a convoluted answer. we're seeking answers. we think the families deserve those answers, we think the american people deserve those answers and it's a whole string of answers that have been very convoluted. i hate that we're in this situation, but we got four dead americans, we have hundreds of consulates and thousands of people serving overseas and we have to get this right and the administration has bungled this answer and misled the american people. >> congressman jason chafe fitz, to be continued, thank you very much. >> up next we are live on long island, new york, where sandy is making her presence felt.
and look at the snow coming town in snowshoe, aptly named west virginia, blizzard warning in effect there. the heaviest snowfall is expected by 6:00 eastern tonight. the national weather service has now issued blizzard warnings for west virginia and southwest virginia this is on the back end of the storm. the side of the storm. joining me on the phone pennsylvania senator bob casey. pennsylvania is bracing to be hit hard as well. senator, what do you know now about the effect in pennsylvania, what warnings are you getting on flooding and on the wind? >> well, andrea, i think we're just at the very beginning of it. i just left our state capital harrisburg at the operations center there where the governor and his team are the emergency management folks of the state
and federal level, so i think we're just beginning to see it in the eastern part of the state. obviously philadelphia first and that region will be hit very hard. speaking to the mayor, mayor nutter, i think they're prepared and ready. this is going to be a very difficult period of time because you have both water in the eastern half of our state got hammered by flooding in 2011 in september, but in this case, we'll have both water, lot of rain, but also the real concern is with wind and downed power lines. we're all bracing for that but i think at the state level, and in communities working with the federal government, i think everyone's prepared for the worst. >> senator, i know we're talking about the weather and you have to have that as your first focus. you're in a tough re-election campaign and the pro romney super pac has dumped $2 million of advertising in pennsylvania. could that and the storm combine to damage your re-election
chances? >> it's hard to say. i guess i'm probably not the most objective prognosticator on that but i do think that by the time the election gets here, folks in our state will be ready to vote despite what they have to fight through the next couple days. they're very resilient people as you know. you worked in people, and i think no matter what happens with regard to the next couple of days and in terms of the campaigns, people will be ready to vote and vote in high numbers. >> thanks so much. good luck to you in the storm center. bob casey, thanks for calling in. there's nobody better than pennsylvanians in all respects. the coast guard is confirming 14 people have been rescued from the tall ship, the hms bounty that sank off the north carolina coast. two crew members are still missing. the ship sunk yesterday after it lost power due to the hurricane. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart.
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welcome back for the latest on hurricane sandy. mara, what is the storm surge look like there so far? >> reporter: andrea, i can tell you we've been out here all morning and things are absolutely picking up. i keep shielding my face from the sand coming in. look out here to see the waves are consistently growing getting stronger and bigger throughout the day and that represents the thing that officials here are most concerned about, which is major flooding from that storm surge. a storm surge that the national weather center has called life-threatening. the potential here on the south coast of long island here, which will bear the brunt of that storm as it moves inland, the potential is for storm surge up to 11 feet. we are already seeing flooding that officials are calling considerable throughout parts of long island. there's the issue of the high tide. right now we already are seeing flooding. when the high tide is in this evening, this storm will be in full force and that's when
officials fear things will get really bad. also right now -- >> and i think we've lost mara there, but she is safe. just the wiring on these reports. about 50,000 customers now have lost power, speaking of wiring, between massachusetts and rhode island due to the hurricane. joining me now from rhode island is the weather channel's eric fisher. eric, you see the real force of it there already and still low tide. >> reporter: i'm sorry, andrea. you bopped in and out a little bit there. bottom line in rhode island we have seen things deteriorate this afternoon. this morning winds around 40 miles per hour gusts. that's tip of a big storm through new england. now reports of over 60 miles per hour and later this afternoon into this evening gusts that top 80 miles per hour. that's certainly significant enough to cause big power outages. those numbers have been rising over the last couple hours here, and we're going to keep watching the waves start to work nir way
in. basically we have low tide at the moment. the water is still heading out, and as we head through the afternoon, that should come up over the sea wall. some of the water made its way here, and it crosses the street. state police wants everyone off the roads. they want to make smure people are safe and hope they take that advice. back to you. >> thank you so much. we can see the foam of the ocean and a lot of people still out there. they should get off that beach. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." stay tuned for all the coverage. tamron hall picks it up next on "news nation." hi. >> we'll get the latest. in fact in a minute or two the national hurricane center will have its latest advisory. we will bring you the newest information top of the hour. president obama also just spoke from the white house briefing room. he's warning americans this is going to be a difficult storm, both the president and governor romney canceled campaign events today and tomorrow.
the president was actually asked about the impact of the storm on the election. i will play his response. before canceling, though, governor romney, his team released a new campaign ad hoping to win over ohio voters. the new ad is being called inaccurate and misleading. former ohio governor ted strickland will join us to give his reaction to this controversial ad. and more... on what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time and maybe it's costing too much money. introducing bluebird by american express and walmart. your alternative to checking and debit. it's loaded with features, not fees. because we think your money should stay where it belongs. with you. the value you expect. the service you deserve. it feels good to bluebird. get it at your local walmart. ♪ [ male announcer ] it started long ago.
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